This study examined financing mechanisms currently in place for treating drug abuse, focusing primarily on differences between private and public insurance mechanisms. Within the private sector, insurance coverage for drug abuse treatment is quite restrictive. Limitations typically exist on the type and amount of treatment that can be received per year or per lifetime, and benefits may quickly be exhausted. Limitations also exist with regard to public insurance funding. Eligibility requirements and the authorized settings in which care may be provided are extremely restrictive. It has been argued that public funding for drug abuse should be mainstreamed into Medicaid. However, this is not likely to occur due to significant institutional barriers, and in particular to the highly restrictive eligibility requirements for public programs.
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